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Sajjan in Hindi means an amiable and gentle person

Thinking we were only rescuing an injured horse from  a residential complex, Sajjan, the gentlest of horses,  was declared as a carrier of suspected Glanders ( or Farcy ) by our Veterinary Officers as soon as he was unloaded from the ambulance. This being an extremely contagious zoonotic disease caused by a bacteria Burkholderia Mallei, and with the absence of any quarantine facility in the state, we were advised to let Sajjan at large. But it was unthinkable for us to expose citizens to the disease, also the Glanders and Farcy’s Act disallows the movement of a suspected case. So we decided to house Sajjan with us till further developments. Our staff were exposed to the bacteria as they fed, cleaned and treated him for 4 days, till he breathed his last. The Animal Husbandry Department was intimated and blood samples were sent to the authorised laboratory to determine the presence of the bacteria in mid April 2019, but the report after 2 months requested fresh samples for a retest, without giving any reason why fresh samples were requested.

 While we are happy that by containing the horse in our facility we have been able to avoid it’s exposure to the residents of Thane where the horse would still be at large, we are also raising this concern- don’t we need a specific quarantine space for such cases? The state has notified 40 infirmaries, where are they at this time of need? We were advised by many to immediately euthanize the horse, but that is unthinkable for us, without knowing if Sajjan  was really affected by Glanders.

We whole heartedly thank RAWW Mumbai, our partners in animal welfare, for attending the call and intimating the police, and I cannot thank my staff enough for being such brave hearts and handling the horse.Full Precautionary Protocol was followed as prescribed by the State Govt in handling and during the last rites. We have once again written to the Commissioner of Police to start licensing horses in Thane. All animals in our hospital are given names. And whether it’s Glanders or not, we will remember this gentle horse as  Sajjan.

TSPCA Hospital

N.K.T Compound, Besides
Brahmand Complex,
Azadnagar, Kolshet Road
Maharashtra - 400607